At the Rocket Community Fund, we understand that housing is the foundation for success – especially for newly arrived refugees. That’s why we were excited to partner with Samaritas to support refugees who are resettling in their new hometown of Detroit.
Samaritas is a Detroit-based health and human services organization that operates one of Michigan’s largest refugee resettlement programs. In April, Samaritas and other partners announced the creation of the Detroit Refugee Network (DRN), a coalition of resettlement agencies and nonprofit organizations that focuses on placing newly arrived families in affordable permanent housing. The DRN also addresses other needs, including legal assistance, employment services, access to health care, cultural and social education and integration with schools and educational programs.
We saw a unique way to support the DRN as they worked to find stable housing and other resources for refugee families. The Rocket Community Fund identified Rocket Companies team members with unique skillsets who were then embedded within the DRN to execute housing opportunities, manage relationships with landlords, coordinate move-ins and more.
Rocket Companies “Samaritas Seven” Helps Families Find Home in Detroit
Affectionately referred to as the “Samaritas Seven,” these team members supported hundreds of families as they adjusted to life in their new hometown, while also bonding with each other and the refugees they helped resettle. “This was an experience I will forever cherish and a catalyst that motivated me to go above and beyond for every family in obtaining their own home,” said Devin McClain, a Rocket Mortgage team member who served as a Landlord Liaison for the Detroit Refugee Network. “Everybody deserves a second opportunity, especially with the situation our Afghan clients had to deal with. Seeing [this] come to fruition for these families was really eye-opening. I’m excited for their future in Detroit.”
As a result of coordinated efforts supporting the Detroit Refugee Network, the Rocket Community Fund was recently honored with a Great Corporate Ambassador Award presented at Samaritas’ annual Ripples Gala. Our “Samaritas Seven” were also present at the gala to receive this recognition. “This partnership has been such a strong one, making a tremendous impact in the lives of hundreds of refugees in our community and the community at large,” said Kelli Dobner, Chief Advancement Officer at Samaritas. “[The Rocket Community Fund] has set a precedent for how partnerships can be modeled for impact beyond just a financial gift, by demonstrating a true sharing of valuable and limited resources to make a difference.” She continued, “It’s been a beautiful, innovative model. I want to thank you for all you have done, continue to do and for caring so deeply about our shared community. The lives you have impacted and helped us to build brighter futures for is inspiring.”
The video below was presented at the Ripples Gala and highlights our collaborative efforts with Samaritas to best support the Detroit Refugee Network. You’ll also hear from some of the “Samaritas Seven” who helped newly arrived refugees truly feel at home.